It’s been an explosive year for Orion Crime. We’ve seen Rebus return, the rise of the best serial killer thriller since The Silence of the Lambs and Bosch and Haller reunited! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve got too many great books to list them all, but here are a few highlights from 2015. Maybe you’ll get a bit of gift inspiration (giftspiration?) for the holidays, and enter the competition below to win the whole bundle!
Rebus made a very welcome comeback this year with one of Rankin’s best books yet. Clarke, Cafferty, Fox and Rebus – all the characters we love – were reunited after an assassination attempt against Rebus’s nemesis brings our hero out of retirement. Everything that excites us about Rankin’s writing is here: Edinburgh evoked, the characters rich and a plot that pulls you along into the small hours of the morning. There’s a reason why Even Dogs in the Wild shot to No. 1 in the Sunday Times bestseller list, and if you haven’t read it yet, you’re missing out!
There were more big reunions in the US as well, with two of Michael Connelly’s most popular characters working side by side to stop an innocent man going to jail and take a real killer off the streets of LA. The case snapped, crackled and popped as Bosch found himself working against the system he’s fought for all his life. With the LAPD accusing him of turning to ‘the dark side’, and the whipcrack speed of Connelly’s storytelling, this was a great addition to Connelly’s canon.
Linwood Barclay has always been the king of high concept, but this year’s offering was a career highlight! When we found out-of-work journalist David Harwood discovering his cousin at home with blood on her front door and a baby she claims was delivered ‘by an angel’, we were utterly hooked. Linwood gets you right where he wants you, delivering twist after twist after twist that have you gasping and turning the pages. The cast of characters is brilliant: the corrupt ex-mayor desperate for a comeback, the doctor with a dark secret and the mysterious stranger with a grudge against an entire town. We can’t wait to return to Promise Falls in 2016 to see what happens next.
Mason Cross launched onto the scene with his debut action thriller The Killing Season, and The Samaritan was every bit as great. The mysterious Carter Blake (the wandering hero who could have Jack Reacher looking to hand in his P60) comes head to head with a terrifying serial killer in this breakneck adventure. But he has more in common with the killer than meets the eye . . . Cue a great cat-and-mouse chase as Carter takes on The Samaritan, all the while avoiding accusations that he might be the killer himself. We expect big things from Mason Cross, and we suggest you get in at the ground floor, too.
The sleeper hit of the year! It didn’t light up the charts, but boy, did a lot of people love it. Described by The Times as a ‘crime book of the year’, and written by an author who’s a bestseller in his native France, After the Crash hit our shores with an almighty splash. The premise? A detective has been working on one case for the past two decades. A plane crash in the 1980s had one survivor, an infant girl, and two families came forward to claim her as their own. But who does she really belong to? And what happened that fateful night? He solves it in the first chapter . . . but someone kills him before he can reveal what he found. Sound intriguing? You don’t know the half of it (and we’re not going to spoil it for you).
Permit us to dust off a classic. Ben Aaronovitch writes a bestseller every year, but nothing beats that moment when you read an author for the very first time. Wry humour, London facts, a gripping plot and wizards in the big city had us falling in love with his Peter Grant series, and Rivers of London is the one that started it all. It’s a book we come back to again and again, and if you’ve not tried him before, this season is an excellent time to start.
A major new talent hit the shelves this year with quite simply the best serial killer thriller we’ve seen since The Silence of the Lambs. The writing is amazing, the characters leap off the page (and believe us, some of these characters you really don’t want leaping off the page) and the story had us triple-checking that the doors were locked. Jeffery Deaver said the book ‘breaks brilliant’, and Lee Child called it ‘unbelievably good’. It’s time to find out what you’d call it.
Think John Grisham meets Die Hard and you have just an inkling of how good this legal thriller is. Steve Cavanagh launched his epic debut The Defence this year, featuring ex-con artist now lawyer Eddie Flynn. It starts with Eddie forced to defend a gangster in court with a bomb strapped to his back. That’s how it starts! What follows is one of the most entertaining, most exhilarating reads we’ve seen all year. We can’t wait for the sequel.